Looking for some new soccer shorts for upcoming season?
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll review the 7 best pairs of soccer shorts for sale in 2019.
After that, we’ll discuss what you need to know when buying, helping you pick the perfect shorts for your specific needs.
Best Soccer Shorts
Let’s begin our reviews!
In this section, we’ll look at some of the top pairs of soccer shorts you can buy right now.
1. Adidas Tastigo 17 Soccer Shorts (Men’s)
As we discussed in our buyer’s guide, Adidas make some of the most durable shorts out there. This pair is no exception. It’s made of a tough polyester, and you won’t notice the elastic in the waist fading for an absolute eternity.
You also get another Adidas staple with these shorts – their Climacool technology. Basically, there’s mesh in direct contact with your skin, which works to soak up sweat and keep you comfortable. There’s also further ventilation all around the shorts to help warmth escape. Whether or not you live in a particularly humid environment, this feature is a great thing to have.
Considering the quality and comfort on offer, these shorts are quite reasonably priced.
The only real downside to the Tastigo 17 is the lack of pockets. Although they’re designed for training/games as opposed to casual use around the house, we think that Adidas should still include some basic pockets to store your essentials.
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2. Nike Soccer Park II Shorts (Men’s)
Like Adidas, Nike have their own patented system to keep you cool and dry.
It’s called “DRI-Fit”, and it works in much the same way as Adidas’s Climacool system does on the Tastigo 17 we just looked at. There’s no mesh though – instead, the actual fabric works to wick sweat away from the skin directly.
Unfortunately, the actual ventilation isn’t quite as good as it is on Adidas’s short, nor is the durability. However, the Park II is a good deal cheaper. If you tend to wear out your shorts very quickly no matter what you buy, it could be worth getting an inexpensive option like this pair and just replacing it more often.
These are still very comfortable shorts though. They’re designed to fit nice and close to the body, ensuring that you don’t encounter any resistance as you move. The last thing you want is to be fighting against your shorts as you dribble, begin a sprint, or jump for a header.
The adjustable, elasticated waistband makes it easy to get the right fit, and these shorts are available in a range of different colors.
Overall, if you’re on a tight budget, there are a great pick.
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3. Adidas Tastigo 17 Soccer Shorts (Women’s)
We really like the Tastigo 17. The women’s version is just as good as the men’s pair.
There are only a few very subtle differences between the two pairs of shorts. The women’s version fits a little smaller, and has a slightly wider feel to it. It also has quite a short inseam (at just 5″ long), resulting in quite average lower thigh coverage.
If you do prefer the look of the men’s version, by all means buy that instead. However, just be careful with the fit – you may need to go a size down from your regular women’s short size.
Apart from these differences, the women’s Tastigo 17 is pretty much the same as the men’s version. It comes with mesh ventilation, and Adidas’s Climacool technology helps to keep the sweat at bay.
Not only are these shorts super-comfortable from a ventilation perspective, they also feel really nice to wear on the soccer pitch, in part due to the relatively short fit. You have plenty of freedom to move in any way you’d like, allowing you to kick, run, and trap the ball unhindered.
These shorts are also very reasonably priced, and come in a heap of different colors.
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4. Under Armour Golazo 2.0 Soccer Shorts (Youth)
For kids, not only do you want a great fit – you also want something nice and light. The last thing your little one needs is to be tripping over their shorts – or worse, feeling weighed down as they run or pass the ball.
These shorts from Under Armour are perfect for younger players, in that they’re quite lightweight and not too baggy. This allows youth players to develop their foundational soccer skills and coordination without being distracted by what they’re wearing.
However, there is a downside to this low-profile design. The material is relatively thin, making the shorts almost see-through in some colors, such as white. Also, the Golazo isn’t the most durable pair of shorts out there – they can begin to wear thin a little quickly, especially if used more than three times a week.
Although these shorts may not last an incredibly long time, remember that kids grow out of clothes very quickly, especially under the age of ten. Also, Under Armour’s shorts are relatively inexpensive, meaning it won’t hurt your wallet too much if you need to replace them every season or two. The Golazo 2.0 also comes with an anti-odor lining, making them a little easier to clean.
Note that these shorts run small – it’s a good idea to go a size up, especially if you’re on the border between sizes.
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5. Adidas Core18 Soccer Shorts (Men’s)
A pair of soccer shorts with pockets?!?
The Core18 is one of the few options on the market that actually comes with somewhere to keep your keys as you train or play.
Apart from that though, there’s a range of other upsides to these shorts. The material is nice and soft, making for a comfortable, relaxed fit. You get the cool and breathable sort of feel we’ve come to expect from Adidas, and the classic (albeit slightly long) fit feels great to wear.
The polyester is nice and tough without being too thick, and the seams are also really well put-together. Meaning, these shorts are durable but also work to keep you cool as you play.
Given what you get, the price is pretty good. Overall, we can’t really fault these shorts considering what they cost.
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6. Nike Dry Training Shorts (Women’s)
This is another pair of women’s shorts that fits quite short. If you don’t mind how they look though, the Nike Dry is a fantastic flexible option.
Since the inseam isn’t very long, you have excellent freedom of movement to do whatever you’d like in these shorts. Nike have included a curved hem to avoid restricting your lateral movement, giving you that little extra edge when challenging an opponent for the ball.
As the name suggests, these shorts do a pretty good job wicking sweat away from the skin. Unfortunately though, there are no included pockets.
Another thing to note about the Nike Dry is it’s made of a slightly thinner material to facilitate the flexibility it offers. As a result, it’s not the most durable pair of shorts out there.
However, you should easily get a season or two out of them. Plus, the price is pretty reasonable considering how comfortable they are.
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7. Adidas Squadra 17 Soccer Shorts (Youth)
As we mentioned in our review of the UA Golazo 2.0, fit is of utmost importance when choosing youth soccer shorts. Picking the right size can be tricky sometimes (especially if your child is right on the boundary between two sizes), which is why having the ability to adjust the tightness of the waist post-purchase is always useful.
This is what the internal drawcord enables you to do on this pair of shorts. Plus, the inseam is nice and short, so they don’t feel too baggy in-game.
As with pretty much every pair of Adidas shorts (both youth and adult options), durability is second-to-none, and the Climacool technology is very effective in letting heat escape.
In return for this quality of construction, you can expect to pay a little more for these shorts. However, they’re not exactly expensive, and you definitely get what you pay for.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a longer-term investment, but still want shorts made of a thin, lightweight material, these are a great pick.
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How To Choose Soccer Shorts
Now we’ll discuss some key things to consider when picking the perfect pair of soccer shorts.
Soccer shorts vs gym shorts: what’s the difference?
Soccer shorts share quite a lot of similarities with gym shorts. They’re both made of the same sort of material, and feel pretty much the same to wear.
However, in general, we wouldn’t recommend wearing regular gym shorts on the soccer pitch.
This is because soccer shorts are designed with maximum agility in mind. They’re engineered for constant running, turning, and sliding over the course of a full 90 minutes. Gym shorts on the other hand are meant to be used indoors, and as a result, they aren’t quite as tough.
Some gym shorts won’t provide the full range of movement you need for peak performance on the soccer pitch. For example, you may struggle to efficiently lift your leg above waist height.
This is why it’s important to get a few dedicated pairs of soccer shorts if at all possible.
What makes a great soccer short?
Apart from having the flexibility you need to play soccer properly, the best soccer shorts out there:
- Will be incredibly breathable. Meaning, they don’t get drenched in sweat after just 10-15 minutes of play on humid days. Good shorts will wick moisture away from the skin and dry naturally while you’re still playing. Also look for shorts with a mesh inner lining – this material is great at ventilating excess heat.
- Won’t be too heavy. There’s a balance to achieve here though – you don’t want to wear shorts that are too light, as they are unlikely to be very durable.
- Will have a certain amount of stretch to them. This allows you to bring your knee up to control the ball.
Other features to look out for
While the above list is a good point of reference, there are some other things which are nice to have on a new pair of soccer shorts.
The first thing to look out for (particularly on training shorts) is nice deep pockets to keep your stuff. However, you don’t want a zippered closure – if you happen to slide and the zip catches the side of your leg, this can be incredibly painful. Unfortunately, few soccer shorts except the Adidas Core18 actually have pockets.
You also want to have an adjustable waistband with a drawcord to ensure the best-possible fit (we’ll discuss this more below).
Finally, it’s always nice to have shorts which are really easy to wash, especially if you play in extremely muddy conditions. Fortunately, most shorts can just be chucked in the washer on pretty much any cycle you like, but it’s worth checking to ensure that they’ll hold up to your settings (especially if they feature a lot of mesh).
My kid is playing soccer for the first time – what do I need to know?
The first thing consider is color, if you’re buying soccer shorts for use in-game.
In most situations, if your child has signed up to play for their school or local club, you will be asked to buy a specific kit that the team uses. Sometimes it will be included as a part of the registration fee.
However, sometimes there aren’t any official shorts. In this case, you’ll need to buy a pair in the appropriate color. Ask the manager or coach what you should be looking for in terms of style.
Color doesn’t matter so much if you’re buying shorts for training or casual play in the backyard/park. Black is generally a good option (because dirt and grass stains don’t show up so easily) but what you go for is down to personal preference.
The other thing to think about is sizing. Kids grow quickly, but this doesn’t mean you should buy really long shorts, otherwise your little one will be literally tripping over them. Ideally, you want a relatively short fit, and want the shorts to be made of a lightweight material for maximum agility.
Most children 12 years old and over can wear adult sizes, depending on how big they are. We’ll discuss sizing in more detail below.
Finding the right fit
Ideally, you don’t want your shorts to be too long – they shouldn’t fit like basketball shorts. You want the inseam (the end of the leg) to finish about 2-3″ above the top of the kneecap.
To find the right fit, you’ll need an accurate waist measurement. Get a cotton tape measure, and wrap it around your stomach at the midpoint between your belly-button and your lower rib. Remember to breathe out to ensure an accurate measurement.
For some shorts, you may also need a hip measurement. The process is the same pretty much: the wrap the tape measure around your body just above the hip bones.
Men’s vs women’s soccer shorts
Women’s soccer shorts are pretty much the same as men’s varieties. The only real difference is the sizing – women’s options tend to be smaller and have a wider waistband. Also, girl’s shorts may have a slightly different look to them – normally a bit of an angled inseam and a marginally higher fit.
You can still buy men’s shorts as a girl if you prefer how they look and feel – just be careful about finding the right size.
What brand of shorts should I go for?
Nike, Adidas and Under Armour are the undisputed kings of the sports short.
If you’re looking for durability, Adidas is the way to go. I’ve played soccer for more than 10 years now, and their shorts always seem to hold up a better than any other brand.
However, you need to assess each pair of shorts on its merits. Look at what other buyers have to say – no company makes a perfect pair of shorts every time.
Also, we’re not saying that these are the only three brands you should look at. Soccer shorts from smaller companies are definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for the best-possible deal. However, as we said, you need to review each option carefully to ensure that the quality is up to scratch.
How much should I spend on soccer shorts?
In most situations, it’s best to avoid really cheap $10 pairs of soccer shorts. They don’t tend to be made very well. Although the actual nylon/polyester may be quite tough, you might notice the seams begin to come apart after just a few months. Cheap shorts don’t tend to feel very comfortable either – they can get drenched in sweat on humid days.
It’s generally a good idea to invest in 1-2 pairs of great-quality shorts if you’re serious about soccer.
The only exception to this rule is people who tend to wear out shorts of any quality really quickly. If you’ve been through multiple different pairs of $30 shorts already and are fed up of wasting your money, you may want to consider just going for the cheapest, toughest pair you can find.
That’s the end of our buyer’s guide!
Still struggling to choose the right pair of shorts to get? Drop us a comment below and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
About the author
Tom is an accomplished writer, with years of experience producing buyer’s guides and tutorials for athletes online.
And it goes without saying – he’s sports-mad.